Excerpted from a SocialText whitepaper. Socialtext Workspace forms the foundation of a collaboration platform, which includes wiki workspaces, a personal dashboard and integrated weblogs for ongoing collaborative conversations, for powerful social networking in the Enterprise.
1. Get a rich picture of the people behind the work
The way work gets done is by people working with people, “bouncing ideas” off each other, tapping into each other’s expertise, leveraging each other’s knowledge and insights, re-purposing each other’s output. Any collaboration solution should give a rich picture of the people behind the work. It should connect people and give them a full picture of each other. When people have the context of the who, what, when, where and why of the others they are working with, it builds the level of trust they have in each other and results in greater teamwork and higher quality work.
2. Help people get to know each other
Profiles in the social collaboration solution should truly help people get to know each other, with content such as photos, background, experience, expertise, interests, links and stories. Profiles should reveal who the person is following so others can learn from their network, and what they’ve been working on most recently so others can learn what they’re up to.
3. Discover others who could be valuable
A great deal of the value of social networking comes from connections with all the people not directly involved together on a formal project, what sociologist Mark Granovetter calls the “strength of weak ties.” Until recently, collaboration solutions have focused on making “strong ties,” or active working relationships, efficient and effective. But it is “weak ties” that can unblock and accelerate group productivity. These connections offer new perspectives, ideas and insights. The collaboration solution should provide a variety of quick and easy ways to make associations and leverage weak ties to get work done faster and yield more informed and innovative outcomes.
4. Learn from observing others who are more skilled
We all get better at what we do by watching others who are more skilled. Someone who wants to be a great orator watches other great orators. People get better at their jobs by observing others. Any collaboration solution you consider should let users observe and learn from the people who can be valuable to them. As they watch the flow of useful content created, they also learn what’s important to the person, how they approach situations, how they prioritize and make decisions. People get to mentor others and increase their reputation simply as a byproduct of getting their work done. People get better at their jobs by observing others.
5. Keep up to date automatically
The collaboration solution should let people stay in touch with a large network of colleagues, allowing them to keep up to date automatically with that others are doing, working on, and producing. Every person should be able to keep the network informed of what they’re up to, simply as a byproduct of doing their work. For people working together directly on a project, the unproductive time team members spend today informing each other of what they are working on and their progress on those items should be virtually eliminated.